Bodegas Emilio Lustau was started in 1896 by José Ruiz-Berdejo, an almacenista in Jerez. Today, Lustau is considered the global standard-bearer for top quality Sherry and their lineage of winemakers has dominated the ‘Best…

Bodegas Emilio Lustau was started in 1896 by José Ruiz-Berdejo, an almacenista in Jerez. Today, Lustau is considered the global standard-bearer for top quality Sherry and their lineage of winemakers has dominated the ‘Best Fortified Winemaker’ title at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London.

The chalky soils around Jerez in Spain give these wines, made mainly from Palomino, a fresh acidity that balances their savoury characteristics. The flor and oxidative notes also make them some of the most complex wines. See more information on the various styles below.

The portfolio of under $25 a bottle represents remarkable value for their complex, well-made personalities.‘ – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate

We’ve put together a set of all the styles, as well as a pack of three 30-year-old VORS (Very Old Rare Sherry) of which only 1,000 bottles are made each year. Parker said that these were ‘as profound as any alcoholic beverage in the world‘. Finally, we have an exciting set of 3 Almacenista Sherries made by independent producers who have been making fine Sherry on a small scale for decades. Read more.

The lighter styles can be drunk over a few weeks, whilst the heavier, richer versions will last for months in the fridge once open. These are all dry except for the PX.

  • Fino and Manzanilla are early-drinking, low alcohol (15% – 16%) Sherries and can be consumed very much like unfortified wines. Ageing under flor conditions imparts a distinctive tangy flavour, adding wonderful complexity and depth. A joy with seafood, but these also come alive with a bowl of nuts before dinner.
  • Amontillado is an aged Fino or Manzanilla without the flor character. It is richer and more structured with higher alcohol, meaning it can handle any savoury food.
  • Olorosos are the most concentrated, aged Sherries and show oxidative notes. They are even higher in alcohol and will display dried fruits, leather and exotic spices. A dreamy complement to strong cheeses.
  • Palo Cortado is somewhere between an Amontillado and an Oloroso and often provides the best of these contrasting styles. It is my favourite style due to its incredible complexity and freshness.
  • Pedro Ximénez is an intensely sweet (RS: 417g/l), dessert-style Sherry made from sun-dried grapes.

Reminder: Final #SkillsChallenge workshop
Don’t miss our final, free workshop tomorrow at 6 pm (find our more here). We will host Chris Mullineux, Danie Carinus, Johan Reyneke and Tinashe Nyamudoka to discuss winemaking and wine-growing. We believe that identifying and sharing skills is one way we can assist the heavily-impacted hospitality industry. We are also offering 4 apprenticeships at Wine Cellar post-lockdown, please email CVs to Let’s all #upskill and #reskill the workforce.

Tasting notes:

Emilio Lustau, Puerto Fino 375ml NV
Bright, with lemon pulp, talc and chamomile notes. A chalky edge holds the finish, giving this a dried, chiseled feel. Drink now. – Wine Spectator, 90/100

Emilio Lustau, Manzanilla Papirusa 375ml NV
Complex and rich with savoury ripe citrus and fresh, yeasty nut aromas; vibrant and energetic with a lingering salty finish. – Decanter, 92/100

Emilio Lustau, Dry Amontillado Los Arcos 375ml NV
Walnut, halva, singed almond and green tea notes give this an intriguing profile, flirting with an off-dry character. Stays dry through the bitter orange-edged finish. – Wine Spectator, 90/100

Emilio Lustau, Oloroso Don Nuño 375ml NV
Toffee and baked brown sugar aromas provide a nice opening in this wine. It’s fresh and fearless, with popping acidity and layered flavors. Salty dried apricot and orange notes end with dashes of brine and pecan. – Wine Enthusiast, 92/100

Emilio Lustau, Palo Cortado Península 750ml NV
Tremendously concentrated earthy chestnuts, coffee and chocolate flowing into a savoury, mellow palate with linear acidity and an iodine finish. – Decanter, 93/100

Emilio Lustau, Pedro Ximénez San Emilio 375ml NV
With piercing aromas of raisin pudding, molasses and spice, this rolls out the welcome mat and more. Luscious is probably as tame as you can put it; this is a ribald sweet wine with acidic backbone and hugely intense flavors of baked brown sugar, cinnamon cake and molasses. Powerful but still racy due to bracing acidity. About as good as it gets with P.X. – Wine Enthusiast, 93/100

Emilio Lustau, Almacenista Fino del Puerto 500ml NV
Exactly what a Fino should be; delicate camomile, almond and fresh lemon aromatics with a lovely rounded, plump texture and a herbaceous, apple peel minerality. Crisp and tangy with a gorgeous toasted long savoury finish. – Decanter, 97/100

Emilio Lustau, Almacenista Manzanilla Pasada de Sanlúcar 500ml NV
A slightly richer style of Manzanilla, with hints of butter and fresh chamomile amid the singed almond, lemon peel and fleur de sel notes. A singed almond edge lingers longest. – Wine Spectator, 91/100

Emilio Lustau, Almacenista Amontillado de Sanlúcar 500ml NV
Dusty toffee and dried stone-fruit aromas are pure and inviting. This is ultra crisp and fresh, with ripping acidity. Flavors of toffee, salted peanuts and sharp-leaning dry white fruits finish racy and with precision. This is a classic complex amontillado purchased from the cellar of Manuel Cuevas Jurado. – Wine Enthusiast, 92/100

Emilio Lustau, VORS Dry Amontillado 500ml NV
The NV Amontillado VORS is a huge step up in quality and complexity from the rest of Amontillados. Bright brown color, extremely saline in the palate, sharp as a knife. One has to wonder if in the past the origin of this wine could have been Manzanilla rather than Fino. It is clean with a complex nose of curry, old wood, wax, antique shop and shoe polish as well as an extremely concentrated palate. Drink 2013-2021. – Wine Advocate, 97/100

Emilio Lustau, VORS Dry Oloroso 500ml NV
This venerable Oloroso betrays its purity and unsullied nature by the lightness of its pale russet colour. It’s deeply aromatic, yet finely composed in terms of its aromatic profile, with dried apricot, peach and even mango combining with an orange peel tang and a basmati-rich cereal sweetness. The palate is coruscatingly dry and hugely concentrated; all of those aromatic notes harmonise with almost elixir-like force. This is a hugely exciting Oloroso with which to challenge any wine lover who doesn’t yet understand the treasures which linger and lurk in the sherry region. – Decanter, 97/100

Emilio Lustau, VORS Palo Cortado 500ml NV
A thrilling example of a Palo Cortado! Captivating layers of dried fruit, toast, chestnuts and seaweed entwined with savoury coffee and cacao; energetic and unctuous with a really elegant underlying austerity and a never ending finish. Amazing! – Decanter, 97/100


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